Ben Thuy was awarded the WoRMS Early Career Researchers Award. This award was handed out for the first time this year and is intended to recognize the effort of a scientist who has contributed to WoRMS significantly within about 10 years of their PhD. Ben works at the Geological Museum of the University of Göttingen, in Germany. He got his PhD in late 2012 and has contributed all fossil Ophiuroids to WoRMS, 495 records so far. He is also assisting with recent species when needed and “behind the scenes” in WoRMS. Ben has received the award during the BioSyst EU 2017 meeting, organised in Gothenburg.
This year, the WoRMS Achievement Award was awarded to Geoff Boxshall, editor of 14 taxonomic groups within WoRMS, with a strong focus on Copepoda & parasites. He is based at the Natural History Museum in London (UK). The Award was handed over by Tammy Horton, current Chair of the WoRMS Steering Committee.
Geoff has made major contributions to both the European (ERMS) and World Register (WoRMS) over the years. He has also served as Chair of the Steering Committee for 3 years, guiding the Committee and the Data Management Team in their tasks and the DMT and other SC members have always been able to count on him: items brought up for discussion have always received the needed attention and feedback from Geoff, bringing forward the most durable solutions and allowing WoRMS to move forward.
Next to the taxonomy, Geoff has a strong interest in ecological information and how this can become part of WoRMS, understanding that this kind of information can give a much greater added-value and possibilities if combined with expert-based taxonomic information. His participation in a number of pilot projects on traits, have helped in shaping which trait information should be captured and in identifying some pit holes. Through Geoff, the idea for a thematic portal on parasites has taken shape and he is also involved in the thematic portal on marine cave species, again showing an interest broader than just taxonomy. Over the years, Geoff has been able to involve experts for rather obscure and more difficult groups in WoRMS, helping to close the editor-gap.